Friday, September 22, 2000

Tristate A.M. Report

Serial killer's letter brings $51 at auction

        Somebody paid $51 for a letter written two years ago by Cincinnati serial killer Donald Harvey.

        The auction, on the eBay Internet site, ended at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The four-page letter attracted eight bids. Written to the man who sold it, James Sparks of Alabama, the letter talks about Mr. Harvey's favorite actress — Kim Zimmer, who plays Reva on Guiding Light.

        Information was not available on the bidder. E-mail messages sent to the seller and bidders were not answered.

Schools increase passage on tests

        More than 60 percent of Cincinnati Public School students who were in the third grade last year have now passed Ohio's reading proficiency test, Superintendent Steven Adamowski said Thursday.

        The latest results come from a group of students who took the test again at the end of August.

        These students did not pass the test at the end of the five-week summer school program, which saw 55 percent of students pass the exam.

        Students who still have not passed the test can take it again in October.

        Mr. Adamowski announced the results at Vine Street School, which had perfect attendance in its summer school program, as well as the highest percentage of students passing the test.

        Forty-two percent of Cincinnati Public Schools' second-graders and 20 percent of its third-graders had to attend summer school because of the district's new Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Students in the second and third grades who did not pass the state's reading proficiency test were required to attend.

        The Third Grade Reading Guarantee is an effort by the district to get students reading at grade level before the state's Fourth Grade Reading Guarantee takes effect in the 2001-02 school year. The state will require students to read at fourth-grade level or be held back.

40 arrested at Phish concert

        Police made at least 40 arrests Wednesday outside the Phish concert at Riverbend, most of them for selling drugs to undercover officers.

        Officers from Cincinnati, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and special drug units RENU and Operation Street Corner made deals for many kinds of drugs, including Ecstasy, marijuana, LSD, Percocet, methamphetamine, mushrooms and the cancer painkiller Oxycontin.

        Several of those arrested were arrested for obstructing official business because they stood as lookouts, pointing out the undercover officers.

        Most taken to jail were out-of-towners in the area for the concert. The band is known for fans who follow it around the country.

Third man held in July slaying

        A third suspect in the July killing of a Colerain Township man is back in Cincinnati, behind bars.

        Fugitive trackers found Demetric Reynolds, 19, in Detroit. He is charged with murder, aggravated robbery and felonious assault in the July 9 death of Bubacarr Kassama. They brought him back to the Hamilton County Justice Center on Wednesday.

        Mr. Kassama, 25, was found dead on a sidewalk in the 2100 block of Fulton Avenue in Walnut Hills. He and a friend were at the Yacht Club in Clifton Heights when they met two women. Authorities said the four went to Fulton Avenue in a vehicle driv en by Mr. Kassama. One of the women talked to a man on the street, then led the other occupants of the car into a building on Fulton.

        When Mr. Kassama, his friend and the other woman left the building a few minutes later, an unknown male approached Mr. Kassama and demanded his jewelry. Mr. Kassama was then shot.

        Another man and woman already have been arrested in the homicide.

Accident kills motorcyclist, 19

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — A 19-year-old man was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a culvert Thursday.

        Thomas Q. Sweeney, of the 5200 block of Whispering Wood Way, West Chester, was traveling east on Hamilton-Mason Road near Mauds Hughes Road when the crash occurred.

        Air Care was called to the scene, but he was pronounced dead before he could be transported.

        Police on Thursday afternoon said their investigation was continuing, but there were no initial indications that alcohol or drugs were involved.

        However, speed may have been a factor, said a news release from Sgt. Barry Walker of the West Chester department's traffic safety unit.

        No additional details were available.

Turpin junior held in bomb threat

        A Turpin High School student was arrested Thursday for allegedly threatening to blow up his school.

        The 17-year-old junior was charged with inducing panic after Hamilton County sheriff's deputies investigated a note found in a bathroom stall. The note, in the boy's restroom, said a bomb would go off at 11:45 a.m.

        The school was evacuated, but classes later resumed.

Police open house to show new tools

        HAMILTON — The Hamilton Police Department will conduct an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at its headquarters, 331 S. Front St.

        “We have an exciting array of new electronic equipment that will be on display, and we look forward to demonstrating these new innovative tools to our citizens,” said Police Chief Neil Ferdelman.

        A computerized fingerprinting machine, lie-detector test and other specialized equipment will be featured, along with various vehicles and Sydney the police horse.

        “This event allows our department to showcase the newest equipment in modern police work, and shows our community tax dollars at work,” said Sgt. Tom Kilgour, department spokesman.

        Door prizes will be given out, along with free refreshments.

Sleeping at wheel suspected in death

        GOSHEN — A 19-year-old Clermont County man killed this week in a single-vehicle crash might have fallen asleep at the wheel, police at the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Wednesday.

        Charles Weaver, of Wayne Township, was driving alone east on Woodville Pike near Shiloh Road at 11:30 p.m. Monday when he drove his vehicle into a ditch, police said. It then struck a culvert and a utility pole.

        Mr. Weaver, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Lt. Paul Hermes said initial indications were that neither drugs nor alcohol was a factor, and that because of the lack of skid marks, it was possible Mr. Weaver fell asleep.

Few warned of twister
7-year-old helped others dig out of smashed church
Psychologist: Fear of storms can be dealt with
Spared in 1974, but not in 2000
Bush in N. Ohio: Oil's hot issue
Fall is bustin' out all over
Jury urges death for child-killer
Overhaul Ohio's proficiency test, group demands
AIDS support group struggles with sharp decline in donations
'Dial the Code' calls begin Oct. 1
A big heart for tiny babies
Ask a stupid question
Hammys to honor finest swine
Ex-doctor to plead guilty in death, official says
Suspicions followed doctor across globe
Doctor group urges prenatal HIV tests
Father seeks powerful help in custody battle
Firm creates college alumni association
Higher education budget is $6.1B
In the Schools
Man charged in assault of woman in office
Man charged with bilking investor
Man's service honored
Neighbors, friends mourn for slain teen-ager
New Franklin fire chief assesses goals
Newport board weighing housing options
Nuclear sites list shocks some
Patton puts out tobacco plan
Race relations panel part of town hall series
School sells choice seats for games
Two area schools earn blue ribbons
University of Cincinnati teeming with freshmen
Woman punished for $19K con job
Get to it
Pig Parade: Hamlite
- Tristate A.M. Report